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Session 50 - Interstellar Medium I.
Display session, Thursday, January 08
The Spatial Infrared Imaging Telescope, SPIRIT III, was the primary instrument for gathering mid-infrared data during the Midcourse Space Experiment (MSX) mission. SPIRIT III is a 31 cm aperture, high off axis rejection telescope with a five color, high spatial resolution (18”), 4.2 to 26 µm multi spectral radiometer; and a six channel, 2.5 to 28 µm Fourier transform spectrometer.
At comparable sensitivity to the Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS) but with 30 times higher spatial resolution, the SPIRIT III infrared radiometer is ideal for surveying the large areas of the sky where the IRAS results were degraded by confusion or the areas of the sky missed entirely. To address these problems, one experiment was dedicated to survey within 5 degrees of the galactic plane and another to survey the IRAS gaps. Other experiments include observations of the zodiacal dust cloud, comets and asteroids in comet-like orbits, star forming regions, galactic plane deep maps, the Small and Large Magellanic Clouds, and radiometric standards.
We present results from a variety of these experiments and include a video of the spectral and spatial capabilities of SPIRIT III for astronomical research. The data in the video were obtained from a 180 degree scan of the galactic plane with the SPIRIT III radiometer. The results from this scan demonstrate the wealth of scientific data contained within the MSX experiments.
Program listing for Thursday